By 90Min
August 17, 2017

Antonio Conte has moved to head off any potential player urnest at Chelsea by holding a series of motivational team meetings following a disasterous start to the season.

The Italian watched on as last season's Premier League title winners succumbed to a shock 3-2 defeat at home to Burnley on the opening day of the season - just six days after a penalty shoot out loss to Arsenal in the Community Shield.

Now the Sun has reported that Conte has conducted a number of meetings among his playing staff to improve morale, ahead of Sunday's crunch clash with London rivals Tottenham, to inspire them to get their season back on track.

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A summer of frustration has loomed large over Stamford Bridge after a less-than-impressive showing in the transfer market and growing speculation over Conte's future.

The 48-year-old only penned a new lucrative two-year contract a few weeks ago, but murmurings in the press have already suggested he is under the cosh to perform.

That, coupled with Conte being left frustrated over pursuits for key targets such as Juventus' Alex Sandro and Leicester's Danny Drinkwater, have led to gossip columns claiming that Conte may not stick around in west London for the entirety of this term.

Conte has since moved to allay any fans' concerns and to galvanise his troops by trying to rally his senior squad with his motivational speeches and team bonding exercises.

Chelsea have also suffered a bout of ill-discpline since the 2017/18 campaign kicked off, with three cards accumulated in just two matches and anger at Diego Costa's ongoing self-imposed strike.

With the Blues set to visit Spurs' temporary home at Wembley on Sunday, before a home clash with Everton seven days later, Conte sees it as vitally important to pick up some points before the first international break of the season.

Doing so would certainly alleviate some of the pressure he is under and, alongside any further additions to his first-team ranks before the transfer window shuts, would go a long way to bringing some positivity back to the club.

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